Anthony Bourdain's Top Tips For Navigating A New Street Food Scene

One of the best ways to explore the culinary scene when traveling to a new place is to partake in the local street food. Whether you grab a classic New York City hot dog or some amazing Taiwanese street food like scallion pancakes, these quick and convenient bites can teach you a lot about the flavors of a culture in a way tourist-centered restaurants can't. When it comes to navigating street food stalls, the late chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain has the perfect advice for adventurous eaters.

In an interview with Bon Appétit, Bourdain states that it's best to follow the crowd. If a stall or food truck has a long line, there's a good chance that there's something worthwhile waiting on the other side. Furthermore, the author of "Kitchen Confidential" says to pay attention to the people in line. "I look to see if locals are willing to inconvenience themselves and wait in line for a long time to get something that only costs a dollar fifty, especially if it's a mixed bag of different incomes."

Go to the spot with the longest line of locals

If a street food spot's line is filled with locals of all walks of life, it's likely the food is pretty spectacular. However, Bourdain suggests to be wary of lines filled with tourists. It may be a sign that the food is not up to local standards, and it's also possible the vendor is overcharging out-of-towners. According to the celeb chef, "If it doesn't have signs in English, it's almost always worth investigating," so it might be worth it to avoid touristy food spots altogether. Street food that's preferred by the locals is bound to have more flavor and have a focus on quality and affordability.

Anthony Bourdain had plenty of advice for increasing our appreciation for food and dining — like his tip for interacting with your waiter — and his words of wisdom on finding the best local street food are sure to help you enjoy your next culinary journey to the fullest. Usually, it's important to be your own person. But in this case, following the crowd may help you find your new favorite dish.